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Also called Lewa Downs, this 62,000 acre conservancy is only a 4 hours drive from Nairobi towards Mt. Kenya region or 40 minutes by air. The conservancy is the brainchild of the Craig family, who firstly settled there in the early 1920s and practised cattle rearing for over 50 years. It was not until 1995 that the Craigs and co-founder Anna Merz established the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Lewa), a non-profit making conservancy geared to protecting endangered species namely, the Black and White Rhinos as well as the Grevy’s Zebra. Today, the conservancy harbors respectively, over 10% of the Black Rhino and 14% of the White Rhino populations in Kenya as well as over 450 heads of Grevy’s Zebra, the world’s largest single population. Meet Elvis, a six-year old black rhino who knows how to open taps to drink water but leaves them running because he has not quite mastered how to close them (but he is working on it..). He is Lewa’s most popular and friendliest rhino.

 

Apart from the endangered species, the Lewa is home to many lions, hyenas, leopard and smaller cats. The herbivores are well represented by Elephant, Buffalo, Warthog, Impala, the common Zebra, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles as well as the rare Reticulated Giraffe. There are over 300 species of birds, among them, the Somali ostrich and vultures.

 

This beautiful land is a mosaic of dry luggas, lush swamps, savannah grasslands and patches of forests with views of the Matthews Range, the Samburu community sacred mountain of Ol Lolokowe and the magnificent Mt. Kenya. Lewa has recently enjoyed global recognition as a model for protected-area management and conservation by acquiring a new status as a World Heritage Site.

 

Apart from works on conservancy, Lewa is increasingly becoming popular for the Lewa Safaricom International Marathon, an event carried out yearly in the month of June where over 1000 competitors (from over 30 countries) run either 21 or 42 km inside the conservancy in full view of wildlife but in relative safety. During the 2013 event, a Chinese marathoner proposed to his girlfriend marathoner at the finishing line, in full view of local and international media. Funds raised from this event and those raised from tourism are used for conservation and for projects that benefit the local community.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Lewa House, Lewa Safari Camp & Wilderness Trails, among others

   

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